It’s no secret that online marketing is one of the most powerful tools available to professionals and businesses in any industry. But reality is, the benefits of online marketing have been slow to reach certain industries, particularly healthcare.
Although one of the most progressive industries, the healthcare industry often lags behind others when it comes to marketing strategies. Legal and ethical concerns specific to the industry can make adaptation of new strategies scarier than it needs to be; however, online marketing has been shown to dramatically impact the healthcare industry, opening numerous opportunities for healthcare professionals to build awareness in, and promote the industry in ways that were previously unavailable.
Are you a healthcare professional in Markham looking for new ways to improve your practice and patient relationships? Keep reading to learn more about how online marketing is changing the healthcare industry and what that means for you.
Understanding Health Consumers in the Digital Age
With near universal access to the internet, most patients today will look online for health information before going into an actual healthcare practice or office. According to data from the Pew Research Center, over 70 per cent of internet users within the last year looked online for health information. In fact, searching for health related information is the third most popular online activity.
While some may interpret this data as a negative sign that more people are becoming uninformed about their health by turning to the internet for health information, what this data actually shows us is an opportunity healthcare professionals can utilize to create transparency and improve patient relationships.
How Online Marketing is Impacting the Healthcare Industry
It’s obvious that the internet plays a crucial role when it comes to transparency, education, and patient relationships. Here’s three ways digital marketing has impacted the healthcare industry:
- New Ways of Reaching Patients
As mentioned, the majority of healthcare consumers and patients are seeking medical information online. This provides healthcare professionals an easily accessible platform to use to reach new and existing patients.
Online marketing techniques such as SEO, social media, and mobile advertising make it easier and more cost effective than ever to build a strong reputation and create a targeted approach to connect with potential patients.
Beyond simply reaching and attracting patients, online marketing tools, particularly social media, allow healthcare professionals to bring patients relevant and accurate healthcare information. When the majority of people are looking online for health related information, it’s important that reputable healthcare professionals like you are there to provide them with factual material.
- Easily Create a Personal Relationship
Once you have started a connection, how do you sustain a relationship with and retain patients? With data provided through online marketing analytics, it’s easy to personalize messages sent to patients to make the greatest impact.
The healthcare industry is inherently a more personal industry than most, so it’s important that healthcare professionals are able to build a personalized rapport with patients. Personal, demographic, and behavioral information provided by online analytics can all play a role in crafting a personalized marketing message (or even a campaign) that helps significantly when attracting and retaining patients.
- Establishing Industry Experts
Since more people access information online, the internet has become a valuable tool in creating brand and personal reputations across industries. With effective use of online marketing strategies such as content marketing and web design, healthcare professionals can easily build a strong reputation and stand out against competing firms and practices.
Use of carefully crafted articles, blogs, videos and social media posts, combined with attractive and professional web design, can help you set yourself apart in the healthcare industry in two ways:
1. It can help increase your visibility to patients online by improving search engine rankings and increasing traffic to your website
2. It can also help you build a reputation as a reputable industry professional by curating a strong, professional image of your name or practice.
Both of these are important since an increasing number of potential patients prefer to book appointments online, and these potential patients are more likely to book with your practice if your website is easily visible and is reputable.